What Are Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rates?

Cancer survival rates and prognosis helps to understand what percentage of people with pancreatic cancer in the same stage and type of cancer are still alive. Additionally, doctors compute it based on the 5-year duration after surgery. Lastly, the survival rates are based on the kind of cancer one has.

Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rates

These figures are based on the statistic made by National Cancer Data Base; depending on the number of people who were diagnosed with cancer between 1992 and 1998. (1)

  • First Stage (A & B): The 5-year survival rate is about 14% and 12%
  • Second Stage (A & B): 5-year survival rate is about 7% and 5%
  • Third Stage: The 5-year survival rate is about 3%
  • Fourth Stage: 5-year survival rate is about 1%

Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Tumor Survival Rates

The statistics for survival for neuroendocrine pancreatic tumors (NETs) is only available for the patients treated with surgery. However, the general 5-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancers; who did not have their tumors removed is about 16%. (2)

  • First Stage: The 5-year survival rate for Stage I is about 61%
  • Second Stage: Meanwhile the 5-year survival rate for this stage is about 52%
  • Third Stage: Furthermore The 5-year survival rate for Stage III is about 41%
  • Fourth Stage: Lastly, 5-year survival rate for the last stage is around 16%

What Is The Prognosis For Pancreatic Cancer?

Prognosis involves the staging of pancreatic cancer, and this refers to the extent of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Furthermore, doctors base it on the results that appeared from examinations, imaging tests, biopsies, and endoscopies. Additionally, staging is done based on three key pieces of information: (3)

  • – Firstly, T Describes the size of the primary tumor and whether it has metastasized outside the pancreas.
  • -On the other hand, this describes the spread of cancer to the nearby lymph nodes; which are immune system cells that cancer affects first.
  • – Lastly, this describes whether cancer has metastasized to other body organs

Stages Of Pancreatic Cancer

Experts use the T, N, M categories to determine the overall staging of the cancer. Steps begin from stage 0 to stage IV with letters following them. Lastly, the basis for their names in the area in which the tumor has reached and the size of the tumor.

Tumor Grade

Though this is not formally part of the TNM system, it helps in one’s prognosis. Furthermore, the tumor is graded using a scale from G1 to G4, where G1 cancers resemble healthy cells in their outlook.

Extent Of Resection

This indicates whether all the treatment had removed all tumors and had a ranking of R0 to R2. Furthermore, doctors can only use it for resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic tumors: which they can obliterate with surgery. However, this cannot apply in a case of unresectable pancreatic tumors which includes locally advanced and metastatic tumors.


Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rates, by Stage. (n.d.). Retrieved July 12, 2017, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/survival-rates.html

PANCREATIC CANCER PROGNOSIS & SURVIVAL. (n.d.). Retrieved July 12, 2017, from http://pancreatica.org/pancreatic-cancer/pancreatic-cancer-prognosis/

CANCER RESEARCH UK. (n.d.). Retrieved July 12, 2017, from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/pancreatic-cancer/survival#heading-Zero

Healthline. (n.d.). Retrieved July 12, 2017, from http://www.healthline.com/health/pancreatic-cancer/prognosis-life-expectancy#outlook4